Viking Training at the Middleby Residential Showcase Gallery

Some of the Village team was recently invited to train at the Viking Middleby Residential Showcase Gallery in Chicago, IL. We had an amazing day! If you are serious home chef and enjoy the process of cooking and baking then you need a Viking. Viking ranges are built to be used to the extreme. For an intimate dinner at home, or prepping to feed a massive family for a gathering, Viking has you covered. And we have great news Quad Cities area because Village Home Stores is home to the largest selection of showroom displays of Viking product in the region. Come see and touch these products in person and meet our expert team. We can help you decide which models are the perfect investment for your home.

Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates Viking products like the TurboChef wall oven in the Middleby Residential Chicago showroom
Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates Viking products like the TurboChef wall oven. Viking appliances available at Village Home Stores.

Chef Jaime Laurita was in the Viking Gallery to show us product in action. Chef Jaime was a dream because not only was he knowledgeable and passionate about the Viking product… he fed us incredible food all dang day! He was able to demonstrate techniques and features with the products as he worked in the kitchen. His past adventures include touring the world many times over with such acts as Sting, Aerosmith, Madonna, and many more. So you can imagine he had some great stories to share as we gathered around. Be sure to follow him here on Instagram to see more of his food, mood, and music adventures.

Chef Jaime Laurita pours some soup as he demonstrates Viking products in the Middleby Residential showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.
Chef Jaime Laurita pours some soup as he demonstrates Viking products in the Middleby Residential showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.

We saw so many exiting products during our day in the Viking Gallery and we wanted to be sure to highlight a few of them here in a blog recap. The first was a product that was honestly sitting right in front of us for about an hour or so before we realized what it even was. To a guest at this island, this appeared to be a crock on a trivet. In reality it was a movable induction system in action. A Viking undercounter induction system has been installed beneath the quartz countertops of this island. What I believed to be a trivet was instead the induction burner. That burner can be placed anywhere on induction plate and most importantly it can be removed altogether when not in use.

Undercounter induction warmer by Viking.
Undercounter induction warmer by Viking. Mounted underneath your counter and can be operated with remote and removable burner location.

What a dream for large or multi-island kitchen designs! Learn more about this undercounter induction system here on our website. Another fun product that was “undercover” of the counter is the U-Line in-counter wine chiller. For countertop surfaces at or near entertaining spaces we love this new option! It turns off and on with just a tap and even puts on a lightshow for you and your guests as it works.

Recess countertop wine chiller with colored lighting effects.
Recess countertop wine chiller with colored lighting effects. Available from Middleby Residential dealer Village Home Stores.

We had an incredible lunch but the cheesecake we had for dessert was what stole the show! Would you believe that Chef Jaime made this lemon blueberry cheesecake for us on a random Tuesday in November? I felt like we had just entered a pastry shop in Paris. That cheesecake crust? Amaretti cookies folks! Those sugar-dusted dehydrated lemons on top were even made that day.

Chef Jaime Laurita cheesecake topped with dehydrated lemons in the Viking showroom
Chef Jaime Laurita made us made us this incredible cheesecake in the Viking showroom and all we got was this lousy photo… and addicted to his cheesecake!

Dehydrating fruit like this is a step that would normally take 7-9 hours. It takes just minutes in the wall oven that Chef Jaime was using. How? It is a TurboChef Viking wall oven. TurboChef uses fast, forced hot air to get you incredible results in a fraction of the time you would normally need. Since it is turkey season let me give you and example: it can cook a 15 lb. bird with crisp skin in just 40 minutes. The ovens are available as the top oven of a double oven model or a single TurboChef wall oven.

TurboChef wall oven available from Viking uses fast, hot, forced air to get you quick and effective results. Available at Village Home Stores.
TurboChef wall oven available from Viking uses fast, hot, forced air to get you quick and effective results. Available at Village Home Stores.

Many customers assume because Viking is a commercial style cooking product, the ranges are intimidating to use. Please let us assure you they are not! Viking cooking appliances are honestly more straight-forward than many of the newer “connected” and touchscreen models from our other lines. Cooktops, grills, griddles, broilers, ovens, and more. Viking ranges are built to be an absolute workhorse for your household. We learned a lot about the Viking Range burner options and even saw Chef demonstrate how the same sealed brass burner that can give you super high BTUs can then be set to the gentlest simmer setting imaginable. He melted chocolate chips on it using a paper plate as the pan!

Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates the lowest setting of a Viking sealed burner with paper plate to melt chocolate chips.
Chef Jaime Laurita demonstrates the lowest setting of a Viking sealed burner with paper plate to melt chocolate chips.

But if high heat is what you need Viking has it! If you have stopped by our showroom to see our Viking displays then you must have seen the favorite french door wall oven we have. This oven is not just our favorite, it’s a favorite of Good Housekeeping as well! They awarded it the “Best Baking Convection Oven in the Industry”! The fan in the back of this convection oven is massive. That fan alternates directions when in use for the best results. The broiler in this unit is an infrared glass broiler (shown below). It shines light through the glass to intensify the heat. And with no coil to splatter on, that means less flareups as well.

Viking infared broiler shines through glass to intensify heat. - villagehomestores.com
Viking infared broiler shines through glass to intensify heat.

The most unexpected Viking appliance we saw in the Gallery was a soil/hydroponic Undercounter Microgreen and Herb cabinet. This unit is has two 10″x20″ growing trays and a fully contained ecosystem ideal for growing herbs and micro greens at home. Digital touch screen controls are pre-programmed for most growing needs. This system is so effective the Viking Gallery is barely able to keep up harvesting the basil and microgreens they are growing.

Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking undercounter micro green and herb cabinet.
Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking undercounter micro green and herb cabinet. Available at Village Home Stores.

Imagine the benefits of a system like this allowing you to have fresh ingredients year round in the frigid Midwest! Fluorescent growing lights replicate the sun’s rays for you to get the best results and grow organic greens with superior flavor and the best nutrition. We also spent some time training with the entire Viking refrigeration line. From freestanding to flush built-in models and everywhere in between.

Grow your own microgreens and herbs at home with the Viking micro green and herb undercounter cabinet in Stainless Steel.

“What do we mean this thing is built to last? It’s built like an outdoor pop machine.”

-Middleby Team
Learning about Viking refrigeration in the Middleby Residential showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart
Learning about Viking refrigeration in the Middleby Residential showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart.

Well we can’t think of a better way to sell you on the parts and construction of these refrigerators than that! But rest assured that Viking refrigeration is built solid and built to preserve your food. Food preservation with the goal of an elongated shelf life for your fresh food purchases. Less food waste is always a good thing. How does it keep on task? The Plasmacluster system in the refrigerators ionize bacteria and mold spores in the air to remove odors and enhance food preservation.

The interior shelving of Viking refrigerators now also include Spillproof Plus shelves with Nano technology etching. What does that mean? The edges of your shelves are crafted to create an invisible barrier that contains spills. Liquids actually pool towards the center of the 3/8″ thick shelf and not over the edge making a mess of the whole interior. We were able to see and train on so many incredible Viking products from all of the available series.

Middleby Residential Viking showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart
Middleby Residential Viking showroom in Chicago Merchandise Mart.

Middleby Residential is a luxury portfolio of products and Village Home Stores has access to this entire portfolio. While training with Viking we were able to see products from other lines like La Cornue, AGA, Marvel, U-Line, and Lynx. In the La Cornue showcase we saw a pretty special piece that grabbed our attention. A La Cornue range that is truly one-of-a-kind.

La Cornue range painted by artist Cyril Kongo in Middleby Residential showroom.
La Cornue range painted by artist Cyril Kongo in Middleby Residential showroom. Middleby brands available to the Quad Cities at Village Home Stores include Viking, La Cornue, Aga, Marvel and more.

This range was hand painted by Parisian street artist Cyril Kongo. What a statement it would make in any kitchen! This series of ranges were painted in celebration of La Cornue’s 110th anniversary. There were 6 ranges painted in this La Cornue x Kongo series. Learn more about the artist and this project here in an article published by Forbes.com.

La Cornue range painted by Parisian Street Artist Cyril Kongo.
La Cornue range painted by Parisian Street Artist Cyril Kongo.

Have questions about one of the products we mentioned in this post? Want a quote for your own Viking kitchen? Need some help using a feature on your existing Viking products? Need service for your existing Viking appliance? No matter your question, we are here to help! Just reach out to the expert appliance team at Village Home Stores. We are you Quad Cities region Viking experts. Call us at 309 944 1344, stop and see our extensive Viking showroom at 105 S State Geneseo, IL or contact us here online and we will be in touch to answer your questions.

phone number for Quad Cities area Viking showroom Village Home Stores 309 944 1344

Geneseo, IL- 5 Design Upgrades For Your Kitchen

This beautiful Geneseo, IL remodel has a lot to offer in terms of style and impact. As we take a look around we want to share with you 5 great design upgrades included in this tour that helped take this finished space to the next level. Perhaps one of these details might be right for your own kitchen remodel project.
Kitchen before and after. | VillageHomeStores.com

White painted cabinetry from our Dura Supreme line is paired with “Silver Cloud” granite tops. The cabinetry is from Dura Supreme’s  Bria series of construction. This is a full-access or a “frameless” series of cabinetry. The painted white cabinetry is such a bright and updated change from the original Oak kitchen. The ceramic tile from the original kitchen was able to stay in place because the new kitchen design worked with it.
appliance garage in kitchen corner. | VillageHomeStores.com

#1: A Full-Height Backsplash

The first design detail that truly makes a big impact in this kitchen is the installation of a full-height backsplash instead of a tiled space. With a character stone like this “Silver Cloud” granite, a full-height splash gives the opportunity to really showcase the natural veining in the slab. Shifting the beautiful pattern up to a visible, vertical plane also gives a really high-end look.
mirrored_cabinet

#2: Mirrored Cabinets

The second design detail that you can include in your space is the use of mirror in place of textured glass in the upper cabinetry. This may even be an upgrade you can make in your existing cabinetry. At first glance, you may have thought these cabinets had glass in them. Take a closer look and you see reflections of the scenic views outside of the new kitchen. Including mirror in kitchens and bathrooms was an up-and-coming trend in 2015 and has been predicted to be a big trend in 2016 and beyond. The look is great but think about how clever this concept is. Nothing is visible behind the mirror! That frees up “display” type cabinets to be used for any and all categories of storage. China hutches, Master Bath linen cabinets, the list goes on of great locations that can benefit by including mirror inserts.
white painted kitchen. | VillageHomeStores.com

#3: Designate a Drop Zone

The original kitchen footprint has been extended slightly into the casual dining area. A double wall oven from KitchenAid® has been installed for ease of use on the customer’s back. Now loading and unloading items is easy and the tall cabinet includes storage above and below the wall ovens. The double ovens are also perfect for preparing large meals during Holidays and special events. The end of this tall section of cabinetry is capped off with a tall angled end cabinet pantry. With shelving and outlets within this cabinet it is now the perfect space for a drop zone cabinet. Hidden out of sight is a charging station, calendars, mail and all kinds of items that would normally clutter up a countertop.
granite_splash

#4: Upgrade A Busy Appliance

If you don’t drink coffee, why buy a french press? If you don’t bake or use your oven often, maybe pass on convection features. Our point is that you should choose areas of your kitchen to upgrade that you can continue to thank yourself for over and over. A great example is upgrading your cooktop to induction if you cook often and want the best results. This may look like a standard electric cooktop but it is actually an Induction cooktop from KitchenAid®. Induction works using electromagnetic technology. It heats the cooking vessel instead of the surface. This allows you the immediate temperature control of a gas cooktop but in a smooth electric look. The Performance Boost feature allows you to exceed the maximum heat-level setting for up to 10 minutes, perfect for rapid boiling. 
induction

#5 Upgrade Access

The Dura Supreme’s Bria series a frameless construction is inspired by European Cabinetry. This allows you full access to the cabinet box. No matter what cabinet line or construction your design includes, you always have the option to place drawered cabinets where doors and slideouts can also be located. Even though the footprint of this island remained the same that upgrade was made with the new island cabinetry.before after island

Now it is easy to access pots and pans and all kinds of added items within the drawers. Cabinet hardware was carefully selected to match the scale of the drawers the handles were placed on. The back of the kitchen island was also upgraded from smooth panels to custom wainscot panels. This upgrade makes a world of a difference in the finished look especially in a great room setting where the island back is highly visible.
island_back

This new space is now bright, stylish, and makes a big impact because of the upgrades included. The full-height granite backsplash is breathtaking and including mirrors in the upper cabinets is a gorgeous look. Extending the cabinetry to include wall ovens and a pantry/drop zone allowed an easier oven experience and the new cooking zone has an incredible Induction cooktop. Specialty cabinet inserts were also included and an appliance garage in the kitchen corner keeps the counter from small appliance clutter. There is so much to love about this space.
White painted kitchen with full height granite backsplash. | VillageHomeStores.com

We included a full video tour of this finished space in a recent episode of the Village Home Show. In that tour, we give a detailed look at induction features and benefits. Press play below to watch it.

If you would like to see the full album of photos from this remodel be sure to check out our portfolio of work over on Houzz.com. Access the project album here at this link. Houzz is a fantastic way to organize your ideas when researching for your kitchen or bath project with Village Home Stores. Any inspiration you can share with our team helps us get you your dream space. Ready to start the conversation about your own project? Your first step is reach out for an appointment. Give us a call at (309) 944-1344 or contact us online here on our website. We can’t wait to hear what you are working on. We were thrilled to include this kitchen in the second season of our TV Show The Village Home Show and thank these Geneseo, IL customers for their business and for inviting you in to see the finished space.
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